But it wasn’t the problem of my boyfriend’s mother that ultimately destroyed our dreams of a future together.
By the time I arrived in Beijing, I found Chinese men a fitting replacement for my ‘yetis’ – they differed from what Western society deemed conventionally attractive, and to me they represented adventure, rebellion and a whole new way to escape the status quo.
I’ve had two Chinese boyfriends while I’ve been in China and the second relationship was serious, the kind in which the idea of marriage and children wasn’t petrifying.
By my late teens, when my friends were chasing football players, I had developed a thing for men with long hair.
This is a period that my friends tagged my ‘yeti’ phase.
Give lots of gifts, pay for dinners and, oh yes, remember to acknowledge that the Chinese invented pretty much everything.